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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Abyssal Plain: Definition & Facts... The ocean floor is mainly FLAT...

Abyssal Plain: Definition & Facts...

Abyssal plain? It sounds like a combination of the words 'abyss' and 'dismal.' And those two words might not be that far off when describing an abyssal plain. If you've ever thought the word 'abyss' reminded you of the depths of the ocean, you're on the right track. And the word 'plain' usually means a flat, wide area. Put those two things together and you have an abyssal plain, which refers to the huge, flat areas on the ocean floor.
Flat is almost an understatement. The abyssal plains are some of the flattest features on the planet. Some drop in elevation less than a foot for every 1,000 feet in distance. Sometimes there are small hills called abyssal hills, but generally abyssal plains are as flat as a tabletop. 
Abyssal plains are 2,200 to 5,500 feet below ocean surface and are between the continental rise (the part of the underwater continental margin farthest from the shore) and the mid-ocean ridge (where under-ocean tectonic plates move away from each other, forming volcanoes that turn into underwater mountain ranges) or ocean trenches (where one tectonic plate slides beneath another, in a process called subduction).

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